The state says a Massachusetts hospital did nothing wrong with the way they treated a suicidal man who went on a deadly stabbing rampage at the Silver Galleria Mall in Taunton. Both Morton Hospital and a social worker were cleared but the case is uncovering a bigger issue.
The investigation of one case launched a deeper look into 21 more cases at the same hospital.
The 911 calls flowed that day in May, with Kathleen Slavin telling Taunton 911 dispatch, “Oh mother. This guy just came in and stabbed us, me and my mother.”
The mother and daughter were randomly attacked in their home as they sat eating dinner.
Then 911 calls flood in from Taunton Mall. When it was over, two people were dead after being stabbed to death.
Less than 12 hours earlier the suspect, Arthur DaRosa, had been released from Morton Hospital. The 28 year old told his family he was suicidal and hearing the devil.
Why was he released? The state launched an investigation, and two months later, the final report concluded the psychiatric evaluation of DeRosa was "thorough and comprehensive" with "no evidence to suggest inappropriate care was provided."
DaRosa was evaluated by a licensed clinician with more than 30 years of experience but was from an outside contractor. The outside contractors hired to provide emergency mental health services to low income patients on state insurance. The emergency doctor signed off on his release and DaRosa was discharged.
This one case prompted the state to then review 21 more patient files, all of them also on state insurance, and found that 20 of 21 had problems.
The report reveals the hospital did not properly vet the qualifications of the vendors staff, performance standards were not met and there were no checks and balances. There were also issues with medical record keeping and confidentiality. Staff also sent patients home without instruction.
The state planned to terminate Morton Hospital from the Medicare program, but Morton Hospital has since fixed 16 deficiencies, including re-education and hiring certified vendors. The Medicare status remains.